Today dear reader I am on the blog tour for The Patient (Published 28th April 2022) By Jane Shemilt. A big thank you to HarperCollins for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the lovely Anne for the invite, always a pleasure to work with.
She is his doctor. He will be her downfall. When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant. But she is a doctor, and he is her patient. She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything. And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line. Not all patients are telling the truth.
About The Author
Jane Shemilt is an internationally acclaimed, bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. As a medical student studying psychiatry, Jane would hang around in the ward for hours listening to patients and their stories. Later, as a GP, she was struck by the number of her patients who faced mental illness and felt stigmatised by their experience. These conversations form the backdrop for The Patient. The character of Rachel was born from Jane’s frustration with the limits placed on older women. She envisioned a character who decides to sidestep her responsibilities and prioritise her own desires. Given the opportunity, how many of us would dare to seize it? Jane’s first novel, Daughter, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, shortlisted for the Edgar Award and the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and went on to become the bestselling debut novel of 2014.
There is a good reason why you should never mix business with pleasure dear reader. It can get messy. From the moment you begin reading, Shemilt sets the chilling atmosphere that the reader is not alone. The sound of footsteps will follow them throughout the book and the creepy feeling that they are being watched will be difficult to shake off.
The narrative is told in first person by Rachel as she recalls the very moment it all began, that has lead her to being held in custody. Her lawyer has advised her to write everything down from the beginning; but it didn’t have a beginning, not like that. Rachel had been walking towards this for years. Rachel is 49 years old, a wife, a mother and works as a doctor. She was on her way home one night when she decided to pop by the health centre to drop off some notes. She could have gone straight home but she didn’t. If she took the notes home she would be breaking a rule and as her husband Nathan would say, she went by the rules. It is important in her line of work to follow them. While at the health centre Rachel offered to take over a suicide call from a colleague. She had no idea that this encounter would change her life forever. When Rachel met Luc, her world stopped. She was instantly attracted to the half-frenchman and curious as to how he ended up in her office. Luc told Rachel how he wanted to end his life as he was driving home. She found out that he was an architect with a wife and adorable stepson. Rachel couldn’t help but feel a stab of jealousy. She felt drawn to him and found it concerning as she was his doctor and he her patient. Within minutes of meeting him she found herself breaking rules. She struggled to hide her desire and want for Luc and found herself blurring the lines between doctor and patient.
From the outside looking in it would appear that Rachel has the perfect little family set up that everyone dreams of. But the reality is that she has little desire for her husband and is glad that sex is rare. Her relationship with her daughter Lizzie is strained as Rachel was always working as Lizzie grew up. Apart from her neighbour, Victoria who is never home for long as she’s always off on another photoshoot, Rachel spends most of her time alone. She doesn’t appear to have many friends and every attempt at mending the bond with her daughter always ends up with Lizzie pushing further away and more towards her father. Shemilt creates the illusion of the isolation and loneliness that stalks Rachel hauntingly well. She fears she is being followed and watched and tells Nathan who ignores her. The reader can see instantly why Rachel would be drawn into Luc’s strong, comforting arms and risks everything to be with him. She tells herself repeatedly that she made her first choices years ago and you don’t get to do them again. But maybe, just maybe she can finally let go and give in to pleasure and lust for once in her life.
There were many times throughout this book that my jaw was left gaping to the floor. Shemilt has woven in some brilliant twists and turns that keep you on your toes, you don’t even see them coming before it’s too late. What starts off as a forbidden love affair quickly turns into murder. The suspense of Rachel and Luc getting caught made me cling to the page, desperate to find out how this messy but passionate affair was going to end. Would it end? Shemilt teases the reader, knowing exactly how to push their buttons and lead them on. Brilliant writing!
I enjoyed the contrast of scenery that Shemilt paints at crucial moments. One minute the reader is running through the woods in the pouring rain as footsteps behind them grow louder, the next they are surrounded by sun and sunflowers that calm and relax you. It was heaven to escape and relax in the sun’s warmth in France. I didn’t want to leave but my curiosity wanted to know who was killing characters off in quick succession. Who can you really trust?
I give The Patient By Jane Shemilt a Four out of Five paw rating
An intoxicating story of desire, passion and murder that will leave you yearning for more.
My heart was pounding the entire time, by the end I felt like I had ran a marathon. This book doesn’t stop or give you the time to think. You get caught up in the affair, a murder and disturbing secrets that will make you reevaluate everything you thought you knew.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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